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Miniaturized ferrofluid actuated single mode fiber variable optical attenuator (VOA)

Dudus̈, Anna and Blue, Robert and Uttamchandani, Deepak (2014) Miniaturized ferrofluid actuated single mode fiber variable optical attenuator (VOA). In: International Conference on Optical MEMS and Nanophotonics. IEEE, Piscataway, New Jersey, United States, pp. 123-124. ISBN 9780992841423

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We report a miniature variable optical attenuator employing a ferrofluid actuator/shutter combination located between lensed optical fibers. The VOA consists of an opaque, undiluted ferrofluid plug actuator inside a microfluidic channel. The ferrofluid plug position is translated by a variable magnetic field generated from a miniature electromagnet. The ferrofluid plug actuator in turn displaces a second oil-diluted ferrofluid plug acting as an optical shutter. The position of the shutter controls the optical power coupled between the input and output fibers.